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A WELCOME MESSAGE TO THE PROGRAMME REPS! Hi Reps! Firstly, thank you for committing to making our University experience a better one! I’m Gary Coates and I’m the President of Roehampton Students’ Union for 09/10 and one of my key manifesto pledges was to address the issue of academic representation at Roehampton as it is something that currently is not reaching its full potential! Without your input , we in the Union as well as those in the University would have a much smaller knowledge of what issues are affecting the student body where it matter most… in their academic studies. You are part of the first cohort of students to help fulfil the Unions’ vision of making the University as well as other students really take representation seriously. I would encourage all of you to put in as much as possible to this role as I can guarantee the results of your work will make a real difference to the people we work and study with. If you ever want to discuss issues you may be having or would like to bring something to my attention please come and visit me in the Union building or drop me an email on gary.coates@roehampton.ac.uk. Thanks for reading and enjoy your year! Gary Coates, Roehampton Students’ Union President w w w. ro e h a m pto n stu d e nt . com


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Welcome Programme Reps! My name is Jane Broadbent and I am the Deputy Vice-Chancellor here at Roehampton University. My job is to make sure we support you in your studies at Roehampton, providing the best experience possible in programmes that you will enjoy and that will take you where you want to go in your future. To do this we have to have to work in partnership with students so that you can tell us what works for you and how we might improve what we offer. By working in partnership you can have an understanding of how we work to provide your programmes and you can gain an appreciation of some of the challenges we sometimes face. Working together makes sense as we can bring a wider range of ideas together to build our academic community. Partnership cannot happen without hard work from you, our team of programme reps; you are the people who put in efforts, on top of your studies, to make sure our partnership works. I want to thank you all for committing your time and efforts to ensuring that Roehampton is the best place to be for current and future students and I look forward to working beside you to do this. Best wishes for the new academic year Jane Broadbent Deputy Vice-Chancellor, Roehampton University

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WHY DOES THE ROLE EXIST? * The Students’ Union is determined to hold the University to account on its commitment to improve the quality of the student experience and teaching and learning – for all students. * School Learning and Teaching Committees and Programme Boards need student input on School resources and productivity for both taught and research students as well as considering the student experience as a whole. * The universities numerous enhancement groups and consultative forums need student input on key decisions to give them credibility and legitimacy. * Best Practice in Quality Assurance in universities requires that student representation is at the heart of university’s strategy – and Programme Reps are regarded as best practice amongst Students’ Unions nationally. * With well-trained, motivated and committed student representatives in place at all levels in the University, the Students’ Union is able to achieve a much greater overall impact and stay aware of the core issues affecting students.

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WHY YOU MATTER... You matter because:

* Only current students can truly speak on behalf of, assist in fostering and understand the dynamics of the student community. * Only current students can truly hold the university to account on its commitments in the Roehampton Student Learning Values and improve the student experience. * Only trained, motivated and committed representatives can truly offer the necessary skills to represent students effectively. * Only through have recognition that comes from being an official Programme Rep can there truly be an identifiable advocate for the needs of students in your school.

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Prog ra m m e Repre sentat i ves

PROGRAMME REPS JOB DESCRIPTION What is a Programme Rep?

A programme rep is an elected student from each course. Their main job is to liaise and represent the views and opinions of students on that course and to feedback to members of staff and the Students’ Union.

THE ROLE These are the three main elements to the role. 1)To represents the views of students on your course. 2)Refer, liaise and support 3)Bring issues to the attention of the students union.

1) Representing

* Make yourself known to your fellow students and to the School Staff Liaison in your school. * Make sure you regularly update and communicate through relevant avenues that have been set up for you. * Attend compulsory training at the beginning of the year and any top up training that is put on throughout the year. * Identify any course issues/problems that are recognised by you and your fellow students * Bring these issues to the attention of the academics and university staff, by attending the and participating in appropriate meetings * Form vital links between staff and students * Represent the views of others * Feedback to students * Keep in contact with other Programme Reps, The Students Union and your School Staff Liaisons. * Speak regularly to your academic staff to keep informed of current news/is sues regarding your programme, school or the university * Provide a friendly, approachable and effective service.

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2) Refer, liaise and support

* Make yourself known to students and staff * Become familiar with the university structures, support services and The Students’ Union so that you can direct students to the necessary place. * Keep lines of communication open between students and staff and liaise with relevant support services if needed.

3) Students Union

* As an elected representative you are automatically a member of SUC (Student Union Council) There will be SUC meetings throughout the year that you will be expected to attend. * Programme Rep Forums will also take place throughout the year this will be a valuable opportunity for you to engage with other reps from all schools. * You represent students’ views to the union, just as you do the university. (you can relay your ‘points to raise’ to other programme reps or the union president prior to the SUC meetings)

MEETINGS You will be asked to sit on a number of meetings along with academic staff you can speak to your School Staff Liaison about this in more detail. Senior Reps will also be asked to sit on additional meetings which the Students’ Union and School Staff Liaisons will advise further. It is important that as a rep you attend all meetings or find a replacement for that meeting and inform relevant staff of any problems/changes.

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MEETING SKILLS Meeting Skills: Understanding Agendas As a Programme Rep you will be attending school meetings, which may seem confusing at first. However. Regardless of the actual purpose of the meeting, most university meetings follow this structure. Apologies: Anyone who has said that they can’t be there. This will not always be read out. Terms of Reference: This may not always be included, but explains what the meeting is for in general, i.e. to review the programme as a whole, and explains the scope and limits of what the meeting can do. Minutes: Minutes are the summary of what happened last time and any decisions taken or action agreed. If anyone has a problem with the records of the previous meeting or a point of accuracy, they should say so here. Matters Arising: Checking progress of any action agreed at the last meeting Reports – any regular reports (such as the Chairs report or Programme Reps report) that isn’t covered in the main agenda, or progress with ongoing projects. Items: These are the main business of the committee. Each item will be discussed in turn, and any relevant papers or proposal should have been sent out with the agenda so that everyone understands what is being debated and can come prepared. AOB: Any Other Business: urgent points that have only just come to your attention. If you can’t attend for any reason, ALWAYS let the secretary know. If you want to discuss something in the meeting, ask the secretary to put an item on the agenda for you. If you’re struggling to understand the agenda or papers for the meeting. Or want more information about a university policy that is mentioned, you can speak to your staff liaison within your school or to Gary Coates and Gemma Kelly in the students’ union.

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Succeeding in Meetings: The top tips BEFORE THE MEETING * Make sure you have discussed fully with students any issues you are planning to raise/discuss * Check & confirm the venue, date and time * Read the agenda thoroughly,(which you should receive/pick up a few days be fore) and gather your thoughts on the various points * Prepare any arguments , reports you want to presents and check under which agenda item they come * If you want to add an agenda item, you should contact the secretary at least two weeks before the agenda is sent out/ ready to pick up DURING THE MEETING * Try and sit next to someone you know (for a bit of support). * Listen carefully to everyone, you will learn lots from those more experienced * Don’t interrupt but make sure you aren’t interrupted * Don’t be afraid to ask questions, you can’t be expected to know everything * If you can’t think of anything to say, don’t worry, you don’t have to talk on every agenda item * If you agree with something then say so(be seen to be participating). * State your views and issues slowly and clearly, but respect those opposing views * Use lots of eye contact * Be positive! * Write down responses to your inquiries to report back to students later. You may not have got the result you wanted and will have to explain why. AFTER THE MEETING * Report back to the students via your preferred method * Take action on any matters that cropped up during the meeting. * Begin to prepare for the next meeting * Anything you didn’t understand or want to go through speak to your school staff liaison or Gary and Gemma in the union.

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MEETING & WORK LOG You need to begin recording each meeting that you attend in this log, and also any work that you have carried out as programme rep you need to get signed off. Each log will be recorded at the end of the year, as all reps are eligible for an award at the end of the year for all their hard work and efforts, Reps that have contributed considerably to the role, could also be eligible for a school award at graduation.

Date

Meeting

Duty

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Duty

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THE NATIONAL STUDENT SURVEY(NSS) What is it? Entering its sixth year, the National Student Survey (NSS) is a census of students in their final year of a course leading to undergraduate credits or qualifications across the UK. It’s your chance to have your say about what you liked and didn’t like about your student learning experience during your time in higher education. Student feedback is used to compile year on year comparative data that is: 1. Published on Unistats.com where prospective students and their advisors can use the results to help make informed choices of where and what to study 2. Useful to your university, students’ union or college to facilitate best practice and enhance the student learning experience. You, along with your peers will be asked to answer a series of 22 questions ranging from organisation and management of your course through to assessment and feedback, which the University will then be scored on individually.

Why is it relevant to your role as a Programme Rep? Higher Education institutions across the country see the NSS as a key way of recruiting new students and also a method by which the sector as a whole judges the institutions’ place in a National setting. This means the results of the NSS have a direct impact on the University’s ‘Learning and Teaching’ strategies and the way in which your course is delivered.

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Prog ramm e Re p resentat i ves

THE STORY SO FAR AT ROEHAMPTON Up until 2008/2009, Roehampton did not fare well in the NSS; this was due to a low percentage of students filling out the survey as well as students grading the standard of the University at a relatively average rate. The key aspect of the NSS scoring is that the smallest of scoring percentages can hugely affect the positioning of an institution on a national level. For example, Roehampton slipped several places down the national table without getting a lower percentage overall, it was more on the basis that other institutions went up by a small margin. Last year, the RSU worked in partnership with the University to encourage students to fill out the survey. The Union led a campaign entitled “The Ball is in your Court”, which meant that if 80% of final year undergraduate students completed the survey on time, the University would commit extra funding to the annual ‘Summer Ball’ event. As it happens, we nearly reached our target and so managed to secure two top level headline acts rather than the usual one. Due to a cut in funding to the University, it is highly unlikely that we will be able to achieve the same financial incentive fromthe University this year, however, the Union and the University see this as a crucial way of holding the University to account for its processes and teaching practice so please encourage all final year students to complete the survey when it rolls around at the start of the Spring Semester.

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SCHOOL STAFF LIAISONS What are School Staff Liaisons? Your School Staff Liaison is the person who will be your most important point of contact concerning academic representation. They have volunteered their time to helping create a dialogue between students and staff and the RSU. School Staff Liaisons will also be the person who arranges individual programme rep meetings within your schools and can act as an alternative source of advice from the RSU. The contact details for each of the School Staff Liaisons can be found on the back of this booklet.

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FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS *A STUDENT APPROACHES AS THEY FEEL THEY HAVE PICKED THE WRONG PROGRAMME FOR THEM, WHAT WOULD YOU ADVISE? If a student feels that they have chosen the wrong programme, firstly you must encourage them talk to their tutor first, this is more straightforward at the beginning of term, so if they are having any doubts at all about their programme they should seek advice as quickly as they can, if they decide later on in the semester they may be referred to an academic advisor. If they then decide that they still want to change course they should approach the programme convener of the new subject, and secure acceptance onto that programme and then complete the necessary documentation. You can obtain this documentation from registry in Erasmus house or from registry’s section on the Roehampton website. They may also need to contact the Student Finance Company, to inform them that they have changed courses. *A STUDENT ASKS YOU WHO THEIR PERSONAL TUTOR IS? Everyone will have a personal tutor assigned to them, who they can contact for help as and when needed. If a student is unclear on whom their personal tutor is, they should ask at your school office and they will either be able to tell you or assign you one, this may differ from school to school. You are NOT expected to know everyone’s personal tutor! (except your own of course!) *A STUDENT APPROACHES YOU AND EXPLAINS THAT THEY HAVE JUST RECEIVED THE MARKS FOR THEIR MODULE AND THEY THINK THEY SHOULD HAVE GOT BETTER MARKS, WHAT CAN YOU DO? The best thing you can advise the student to do is to get their feedback from their personal tutor on the assessments that made up that module and try and find out exactly why they got that mark. The student cannot appeal their marks simply because they think they should have got better grades, however, if there has been a mistake on what they received and what was entered on their record for whatever reason, then that is something we can help with at the SU.

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As Programme Rep you are not expected to know the answers/solutions to every problem or issue, but to help you there is a massive network of staff at the university that are always on hand to help and advice. RSU

* SU President: Gary Coates gary.coates@roehampton.ac.uk * Academic and Finance Advisor: Gemma Kelly g.kelly@roehampton.ac.uk * Vice President Welfare and Campaigns: Rebecca Aston becky.aston@roehampton. ac.uk All RSU staff are situated on the top floor of Hirst Union Building, Digby Stuart College 9am- 5pm, all RSU staff can be contacted on the following number 0208 392 3221

School Staff Liaisons

* School of Arts – Adrian Chapman a.chapman@roehampton * Schools of Education – Leonie Smith l.smith@roehampton.ac.uk * School of Business and Social Sciences – w.cooper@roehampton.ac.uk * School of Human and Life Sciences – e.flight@roehampton.ac.uk

Student Services

* Student Services offer a varied amount of different advice for instance accommodation, disability, funding, careers etc. You can contact Student Services reception on 0208 392 3113. * Library Library Enquiry Desk – 0208 392 3770 Renewals and Borrower Info – 0208 392 3250

English Language Unit

* ELUenquiries@roehampton.ac.uk * Learning and Teaching Enhancement Unit (LTEU) lteu@roehampton.ac.uk 0208 392 3685

Programme Reps Booklet 2009/2010  

The Programme Rep handbook 2009/2010

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